Man United, Newcastle advance to League Cup semifinals

Manchester United and Newcastle reached the English League Cup semifinals on Tuesday, the latest positive step in encouraging seasons for teams who have also established themselves in the top four of the Premier League.

By beating third-tier Charlton Athletic 3-0 thanks to Antony’s curler and two late strikes by Marcus Rashford, Man United made it eight straight wins in all competitions and moved into the League Cup semifinals for the third time in four seasons.

Newcastle dispatched Leicester 2-0 and advanced to the competition’s last four for the first time since 1976, putting a trophy in the sights of the Saudi-controlled club which has rapidly become a force in English soccer. Dan Burn and Joelinton were the scorers in the second half.

The other two quarterfinal games take place Wednesday, when Manchester City visits Southampton and Nottingham Forest hosts Wolverhampton in another all-Premier League matchup.

Newcastle and Man United are tied on points in the league in third and fourth place, respectively, and are in relentless form, with just one loss between them since September.

Drawn against the lowest-ranked team left in the competition, Man United manager Erik ten Hag was able to field a weakened lineup against Charlton — in view of a derby match against Manchester City in the league on Saturday — and still come through fine.

Antony collected the ball on the right and curled a shot into the far corner from just outside the area to put the hosts ahead in the 21st minute at Old Trafford.

Rashford came on as a substitute in the 60th and scored for the sixth straight game, poking home a finish in the 90th at the end of a counterattack and then stroking in a left-footed shot after beating the offside trap.

At St. James’ Park, Burn was the unlikely scorer of Newcastle’s breakthrough goal in the 60th minute, the tall left back taking a pass from Joelinton and surging through Leicester’s defense before slipping home a low finish.

Joelinton, who had earlier hit the post, then scored himself in the 73rd with a low, angled shot.

Newcastle hasn’t won a trophy since 1955.

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Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80

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Steve Douglas, The Associated Press